The number of people aged 50 and over is growing as our society ages. Yet this age group appears to be under-represented amongst social entrepreneurs.
This Findings Paper explores social entrepreneurship amongst people aged 50+, looking at the motivations, distinctive features and contributions of older social entrepreneurs, and the benefits of social entrepreneurship to them as individuals. It concludes that there is untapped potential in this age group, and that social entrepreneurship may offer some unique solutions to issues associated with an ageing society
Selected Key findings:
Around half of social entrepreneurs aged 50+ are female; 14% are from minority ethnic backgrounds; and 67% are educated to degree level or have professional qualifications.
Factors related to age (such as the feeling of having a lifetime of experience to share) or lifecourse (such as children moving away) often seemed to play a role in motivating people to start a social venture.
There was a tendency for older social entrepreneurs to focus more on creating social value than economic value. Amongst UnLtd’s annual survey respondents aged 48 and above, half generated no turnover during 2009-10. Nevertheless, there were exceptions. For example, 9% of those aged 48 and over generated more than £100,000 turnover in the reporting period.
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